[Matthew who helps out with the Toad Sessions and all the work which needs doing for the label has kindly written this week’s Sunday Supplement. I think he’s angry about something – let the rage out Matthew, let it out!]
Similes is Matthew Robert Cooper’s fifth album under the Eluvium title and it’s just, er, amazing. I personally think this is the best thing he’s done so far in his career. He recorded an album under his full name entitled Miniatures back in ’08 which was just beautiful, and he’s also part of Concert Silence which is purely unedited improvisational work with his friend Charles Buckingham – it can be downloaded for free here – I couldn’t recommend it higher. He’s also doing the score for the film ‘Some Days Are Better Than Others’, which looks really intriguing.
The first thing I think I should talk about is the new direction of the album and the sort of mixed response it seems to be getting from a lot of folk. Previously Cooper’s work hasn’t featured any vocals at all, typically just ambient guitar, synth instruments and piano pieces. I think this came as a bit of a shock looking at some of the ‘shouts’ from people on Last.fm and such. I think it’s really fucking pathetic, to be honest. I hate ‘fans’ in most cases, but these fuckers are just too much. I don’t usually give much attention to comments on ‘community’ type things such as youtube and Last.fm etc, because it mostly just fucks me off and depresses me – can’t really be doing with it.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, the vocals. Well fuck those sour pussed twats up their Nazi fucking arseholes, because the vocals are brilliant. They add a whole new level of beauty to the sound and it’s really rewarding to hear someone have the confidence to just come out and do that.
The album starts off with the two tracks that’ve been circling the internet in promotion of the album for the past two months – ‘Leaves Eclipse The Light’ and ‘The Motion Makes Me Last’. Those two, I think, have been the cause of all the commotion. I think they sit apart from the rest of the album as they feature quite a bit more acoustic instrumentation and they have more of a ‘pop’ structure to them. The album then delves lovingly into more ‘droney’ songs, which I think starts a really nice stroll down towards the end of the album. Maybe that’s a strange way to think about it – I certainly don’t mean it in a negative way – it really is just a nice touch of balance.
Since seeing Eluvium support Explosions in the Sky back in ’07 I’ve been smitten with most things ambient/experimental/post-rock. I can’t honestly wait to feel the power of those sub-woofers make my insides bleed and turn my eardrums to pulp again. Cooper’s live performance is mainly made up of layers and layers of guitar pushed and pushed through loads of effects and his laptop. It’s pretty cool.
Similes has pretty much been the soundtrack to my life over the past wee while, since getting my naughty copy from the interwebs… I will buy a proper copy as soon as I have a chance, promise. It’s the first thing out in quite a while that’s really affected me emotionally and I think that might be an important thing to mention while writing this. I was listening to the song ‘Cease To Know’ a few nights ago while driving back from Dundee crossing the Forth and it was seriously beautiful. I think that this album really does do so much, well it does for me, and I hope that it does for others too.